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Mask mandate extended; ‘Stage 5’ of Indiana’s reopening plan continues for next month

Back on Track stage 5 continues
Indiana positivity rate 10 14 2020
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INDIANA (WPTA21) - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb says the state will remain in the "stage 5" of his reopening plan and Hoosiers will need to continuing masking up through at least Nov. 14.

Gov. Holcomb said Indiana will remain in "stage 5" until he can revisit the numbers next week. He also extended the mask order until at least Nov. 14.

Even though this is the last stage of the reopening plan, health officials warned Hoosiers that doesn't mean we're back to normal.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box asked Hoosiers to remain vigilant as the pandemic is not going anywhere.

"Our numbers are not good, and they are very concerning," Dr. Box said.

"So please be careful. Please be responsible."

Three weeks ago, the state transitioned to "stage 5" of Gov. Holcomb's reopening plan, which removed size limits on restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, and other facilities.

Back in September, Gov. Holcomb said the state was trending in the right direction with the state's positivity rate under 4 percent.

Indiana will continue in Stage 5 for the next month.

RELATED: Indiana to move to ‘stage 5’ of state’s reopening plan; mask order to remain in effect

"We are proving you can go to a Colts game, a school game, shopping... and you can do it safely," Gov. Holcomb.

"The numbers have everything to do with us who are or aren't letting our guard down."

Holcomb said he's confident the contact tracing program is working.

But Indiana’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and rates of new infections continued sharp increases in new statistics released as the governor faced a deadline on whether to extend the statewide face mask order.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box announced she tested positive for COVID-19.

When a family member developed symptoms, Dr. Box and her family went to get tested.

Dr. Box said she is not symptomatic but is working at home and quarantining.

Out of an abundance of caution, Gov. Holcomb and other statehouse staff will get tested Wednesday afternoon.

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 1,172 new cases of the virus and 14 new deaths Wednesday.

The state's 7-day positivity rate for all tests remains at 5.3 percent.

State Health officials noted a technical issue with manually entered data for the COVID-19 dashboard.

Indiana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said when that data is ingested into the system, we may see a large influx of cases.

Here's some guidance of what the state previously said "Stage 5" means:

WHAT REMAINS OPEN

  • Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs may operate at full capacity
  • Personal services may open at full capacity
  • Gyms, fitness centers and workout facilities may operate at full capacity
  • Conventions may resume at full capacity
  • Amusement parks, water parks, and like facilities may operate at full capacity. Social distancing guidelines should be maintained
  • Cultural, entertainment, and tourism sites may open at full capacity. This includes museums, zoos, aquariums, and like facilities
  • Pari-mutuel horse racing and county and state fair racing may operate at full spectator capacity
  • Raceway events may return to full capacity

Click here for more on the state's reopening plan.

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Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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